On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.
Lucky number 13! But this mission isn’t about luck, good or bad. Quite the opposite in fact – it’s about karma.
Before we jump into all that, just a reminder that last month’s wrap-up is here. I’d really love to hear from all of you, as I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts as you’ve worked this mission and now I’m curious to hear about it! So please please, hop on over and let me know how you did (even if it was less than stellar – that’s okay too!)
So now for this month’s mission! Last month was bad habits (boo), and this month we round it out with good deeds (yay!) Because it’s so easy to get caught up in the flurry of life, to focus only on the future. You just get swept away in your schedule, never really pausing to look around at the *now*, never really snapping into the present. This is a concept we addressed in relation to our bad habits last month, and it’s an idea you’ll see me explore in my work throughout this site. Because it’s really, really important.
I know that for me, if I don’t check in with myself I can easily get so stuck in a ‘forward moving’ mindset. Just put my head down and plow forward with “gotta get this done, then gotta get this done, then gotta . . . “. But that’s no way to live a life! And not only will it keep us from dealing with our demons, but it also keeps us from . . . noticing that the person in front of us couldn’t pay for their coffee . . . or that the old man who we just passed gave the most genuine smile . . . or that the mom wrestling two kids and 3 bags of groceries could probably use a hand . . . or that the homeless guy really does look hungry . . .
And that’s all I’m asking you to do. To wake up, look around, and find something kind to do for a stranger. Maybe, once a week? Or more if you’d like. It could be anything, from buying a kid a cookie to helping a little old lady across the street. Just do something nice, and pay attention to how it feels.
***extra credit for over-achievers: try making a smile your ‘default face’. When you’re standing in line or walking to work or talking to a cashier, slap on a big grin, look people in the eyes and really smile at them, and man . . . just watch what happens!***
So whether you believe in karma or not, whether you believe that God punishes you or that the Universe will provide for you, well . . . when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter! The fact is that doing a good deed makes the world a better place. And that, my friends, is all we can hope to accomplish.
So, Pay It Forward once each week in July. You in? Do you accept this mission?